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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Air Pollution Still Troubles China Ahead of Olympics

Posted by Author on August 6, 2008

By Stephanie Ho, VOA News, Beijing, 04 August 2008-

As China makes last minute preparations to host the Olympics, the environment is proving to be one major wild card that Chinese leaders cannot totally control. Olympic host city Beijing has some of the most polluted air in the world. Despite measures aimed at clearing the skies, the air is still often a disturbing murky gray. Stephanie Ho reports from the Chinese capital.

These days, people watch the skies above Beijing closely. Some days, especially after it rains, the skies are relatively clear.

More often than not, though, a thick murky haze fills the air and makes it nearly impossible to see nearby buildings.

What is causing Beijing’s gray skies? Is it natural phenomena, or is it pollution?

The city’s notoriously polluted air is one of the biggest question marks hanging over the Olympic games, which begin August 8. China hopes the event will dazzle the world. Will smoggy skies overshadow the party?

The Australian Olympic Committee’s Peter Montgomery says the air pollution concerns him and his team.

“For us, the athletes’ attitude to the event is paramount,” he said. If they don’t want to compete, fine. They will be absolutely under no pressure to compete if they feel uneasy or do not want to compete.”

Some Olympic delegations, including the U.S. Olympic Committee, are making protective masks available to their athletes.

Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau spokesman Du Shaozhong says his office has worked “very hard” to ensure the air quality.

Du says there is no need to wear a face mask when participating in the games. He says if the athletes insist on doing so, it will only end up an extra item in their luggage and make their luggage heavier……. ( more details from VOA News)

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